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#126169 03/26/04 08:35 AM
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wsieber Offline OP
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In an otherwise serious trade journal, I just read the phrase:
"These machines represent the first truly new innovations.."
What's next?


#126170 03/26/04 12:23 PM
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More, please. Is that the entire sentence, or does it go on with something, maybe along the lines of ..."in advancing this particular technique"?


#126171 03/26/04 02:35 PM
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Instead of "innovations", "truly new improvements"


#126172 03/26/04 02:39 PM
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Yeah. I was all set to rant against the rant along the lines of Jackie's question when it occurred to me that the complaint was probably about the 'new innovations'.


And *that got me wondering, do they stop being innovations when they are no longer new? Henry Ford's adaptation of the assembly line to automobile production was truly an innovation, but the assembly line in autmobile production today is not. Does that mean that Henry Ford's feat is no longer an innovation?

#126173 03/26/04 02:45 PM
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Are you sure? I thought it was the geminate period or the dropped third period of the ellipsis. When does an innovation become old hat? How do we distinguish Victorian innovations from Georgian ones?


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Nope, they are still innovative in the milieu in which they were introduced. The assmebly line was new for its time and was thus an invention. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (or at least gets credit for it.) Neither is new now, but everything was new once. Even I! But that was a LONG time ago.

I guess you could say that innovation is time-sensitive.



TEd
#126175 03/26/04 04:28 PM
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Does that mean that Henry Ford's feat is no longer an innovation?

No. It just means it's no longer a new innovation.

The word "innovation" includes the word "nov" for new, as you know.

Therefore, you can have old innovations or innovations which are no longer new, but you can't have "new" innovations ... unless the other innovations aren't really innovations at all, in which case you can have a "truly new innovation".

Hope this helps, Faldage.



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The assmebly line was new for its time and was thus an invention.

Although this may *somehow be true when it comes to automobile assembly, I find this particular claim a wee bit (if not overbearingly) unbelievable. Mass production, no matter what "Ford" history may claim, wasn't invented. That's like someone inventing laziness. The "bucket brigade" method of fighting fires is certainly describing the exact method, however simple the task may be in comparison... but, then again, that's the whole point, isn't it?


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>>bucket brigade<<

The difference being that apart from the first and last positions on the line (respectively, gathering and throwing water), the tasks are undifferentiated nor is it production, unless of a service.

However, the assembly line presupposes standardization or parts which, I have it on poor authority, was an innovation of Elie Whitney's. Or at least of gun manufacturers. According to an article that appeared in the Economist several years ago, this had repurcussions in the American Civil War, when guns were first mass produced. Further, it has ramifications for the interpretataion of the original intention of the right to bear arms.


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Mass production, no matter what "Ford" history may claim, wasn't invented.

You're certainly right about that, Musick, but Henry Ford put his assembly line on the road to mass production.

That probably wasn't an invention. But it was one heck of an innovation, wouldn't you agree.


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